Clarisa Bencomo is a program officer in Youth Opportunity and Learning, and part of the foundation's Middle East and North Africa regional team. Her grant making encourages innovative state-society partnerships for dignified urban living, improved urban planning and budgeting, interdisciplinary urban research, accountability for service provision, and documentation of inclusive urban policies that address refugee influx and enhance opportunities for youth on the move.
Clarisa has had a distinguished career in research and advocacy for human rights and good governance issues. Before joining the foundation in 2010, she served as a consultant on foreign aid and social justice sector reforms. She authored reports assessing the effectiveness of international aid to the Palestinian territories in complying with international human rights and humanitarian law standards, as well as Moldova’s response to 2009 post-election violence. Her research has advanced understanding of and action on protections for children migrating to Europe through North Africa, children living with HIV, working children, and children in the juvenile justice system. Clarisa was a lecturer in political science at the American University in Cairo, and has extensive experience working with poor and marginalized communities, civil society, research institutions, and government to develop effective policies and practices for addressing the drivers of poverty and inequality.
Clarisa holds a master's degree from Princeton University and a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, both in political science, and is a graduate of the American University in Cairo's Center for Arabic Studies Abroad.